The signal:noise on this #instapoet kerfuffle has summoned the chronically lame “poetry is/was dying” revenant art takes.
Poets: your chosen art has never been & will never be popular. This is fine!
You cannot argue whether something is or is not art. There is no platonic form for this abstraction. You may choose to discuss the phenomenology of a work of art, but once wrought, it is immutable, warts & all. I might even argue that life begins at conception for art & similar abstractions.
I once had a spirited discussion about Crime & Punishment with a professor. We were discussing Raskolnikov’s guilty conscience & the professor asked me to identify the moment that this guilt manifested. After a bit of study I determined that it occurred before he even committed his crime.
He gave a sudden start; another thought, that he had had yesterday, slipped back into his mind. But he did not start at the thought recurring to him, for he knew, he had felt beforehand, that it must come back, he was expecting it; besides it was not only yesterday’s thought. The difference was that a month ago, yesterday even, the thought was a mere dream: but now… now it appeared not a dream at all, it had taken a new menacing and quite unfamiliar shape, and he suddenly became aware of this himself.… He felt a hammering in his head, and there was a darkness before his eyes.Crime & Punishment, Fyodor Doestoevsky
Art has never had anything to do with taste. Art is descriptive. Taste is prescriptive. If you are arguing whether something should be “considered art” you are gatekeeping via taste, and you are not talking about art, or poetry, or punk music. You’re talking about how certain people are worth less to you. That’s capitalism, not artistry.
Will history care what hill you chose to die on when it #instapoetry came knocking at the gates? Should you?
“The time of getting fame for your name on its own is over. Artwork that is only about wanting to be famous will never make you famous. Any fame is a by-product of making something that means something. You don’t go to a restaurant and order a meal because you want to have a shit.”